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Do You Smell Smoke?

Corporate Visions’ CEO, Joe Terry, recently spoke at Forrester’s Technology Sales Enablement Forum. He held up a brand new iPad 3 and said, “I stood in line, in the rain, for three hours on Friday to get this. It’s got a Retina display. A 5MP iSight camera. And 4G LTE. Who wants it?”

Several people raised their hands.

“No really, who wants it?”

The hands started waving around a bit.

“Come on now. Who wants a free iPad?”

Finally, someone (who had seen Joe do this trick before) stood up, ran up front, and yanked it out of his hands.

“That’s what I’m talking about. I’m trying to give you one of the hottest pieces of technology on the market — for free. And only one of you out of a room full of people was willing to break the mold and take action.

“Do you see how powerful the status quo is? How hard it is to get people to step outside of their comfort zones and do something different? Even when the value and benefits of doing it are so clear?

“Now, what if I told you that I smelled something… in fact, I think I smelled smoke? What if I told you that this building was on fire? And that the fire was going to get to this room in three minutes?  But fortunately, I had been trained by the hotel on the best route to safety, so you should line up behind me.

“I bet you’d stand up and take action, wouldn’t you? And if some guy was standing in the back of the room saying, ‘Who wants a free iPad?’, who would you listen to… me, or him? Me, obviously.

“Once we were safely outside, let’s say I held up an iPad again. And the guy from the back of the room was there as well and held up his iPad. Who would you accept the iPad from? Me — because now you trust me. I was the one who told you about the threat and led you to safety.”

There’s a time and a place for extolling your products’ features, value propositions and fantastic ROI. But first, you have to get your prospects’ attention by identifying and amplifying the challenging context surrounding their status quo approach — context that creates urgency to do something different. Bring advanced insight to your prospects… help them smell and see the smoke. That a threat to their desired business outcomes is coming, and it’s coming fast. Then, and only then, have you earned the right to lead them to the safety and value of your solution.

Get your prospects to see and smell the smoke!
Attend this free 90-minute virtual preview of a new, advanced Power Messaging workshop from Corporate Visions, Power Deal Creation. You’ll learn how to proactively deliver a “distinct point of view” that loosens the status quo and provokes your prospects to do something different. By attending, you’ll get a chance to win a free pilot or two free passes to the Marketing and Sales Messaging Conference for your company!
April 23, 2012 – 11:00 AM PST


Amazon Kindle vs iPad

Finding Your Value Wedge

In Power Messaging we teach companies to differentiate by finding their “Value Wedge.”  Here’s how it works:

Identify your uniqueness in the context of a specific prospect need.  Then amplify that need so it becomes the dominating buying criteria, and then clearly contrast your uniqueness with the competitor’s weakness so your prospect sees the unmistakable value of your solution.  Also, make sure it is defensible by proving the claim and demonstrating your clear advantage.

I recently saw this commercial and thought… now there’s a perfect example of a company that knows how to find and promote their Value Wedge.  Watch as Amazon Kindle responds to the emerging threat to their e-book reader leadership posed by the iPad.


Amazon is saying…  Hey, if you are in the market for a reader, because you love books, and you love reading them everywhere, especially relaxing outdoors, then there’s only one solution for you.  They aren’t trying to be everything iPad is… they are identifying their prospect as voracious readers and elevating the need to be able to read everywhere and showing how only the Kindle meets this need.

Don’t get me wrong, the iPad is an amazing little gadget with so much to offer.  But, if you are a reader, and that’s your emphasis, why not buy the product that will work when and where you want it to, at a much lower price point?

Love to see two strong Marketing powerhouses go at it, using Power Messaging techniques.

- Tim Riesterer
CMO and SVP Strategic Consulting and Products
Corporate Visions Inc.

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